Friday, 31 May 2019

Malaysia to buy used Kuwaiti fighter jets to expand fleet

Malaysia to buy used Kuwaiti fighter jets to expand fleet | Free Malaysia Today: It's a stop-gap measure while waiting for a new multirole combat aircraft purchasing programme to take off, says RMAF chief.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) plans to acquire used Kuwaiti fighter jets while waiting to purchase new aircraft in the next 10 to 15 years.

RMAF chief General Affendi Buang said Kuwait is planning to phase out its existing fleet of Hornet FA-18C and 18D aircraft as it waits for the delivery of the Boeing Super Hornet aircraft in 2021.

“I think we will grab some of the aircraft to add on to our current fleet, at least while waiting for the new multirole combat aircraft (MRCA) programme, so we have a slightly bigger fleet than what we have today,” he told reporters during a special press conference on the RMAF’s anniversary celebration on June 1.

However, he said talks between the two air forces had yet to start.

Affendi said that RMAF was still seeking government approval for its light-combat aircraft (LCA) programme, as stated in its Capability 55 (CAP55) blueprint.

The air force is still in the process of sending out requests for information (RFI) for feedback from the various suppliers, or original equipment manufacturers (OEM), about their aircraft.

He added that in the CAP55 blueprint, the LCA programme would pan out over three phases and that allocations for 12 LCA would be requested each time the government comes up with a new five-year development plan – the next one to be tabled next year.

“The BAE Hawk aircrafts can go at least for the next 10 years, by then we are hoping that the LCA programme will be approved.

“Once we get at least 12 LCA, we will start phasing out older planes which at that time would be almost 25 years old.

“That will be timely, although we wish we can get it earlier. But if we can get the LCA in the time period mentioned, it will not be too critical,” he said.

Last June, Affendi revealed that 40% of its assets had surpassed their 20-year lifespan.

Aside from BAE Hawks, which have been in service for 25 years, the American Boeing F/A-18D Hornet (20 years) and the Russian Sukhoi SU-30MKM Flankers (10 years) are also part of Malaysia’s ageing fleet.

He added that various other programmes stated in CAP55 – such as the maritime patrol aircraft (MPA), unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and ground-based radar – approved earlier this year had yet to be finalised.

Affendi said they were still getting RFIs for these.

“Once we get that, the project team will sit down to study the information and submit it to the government,” he said.

On a related matter, he said it was important for RMAF to establish a UAV squadron to safeguard national sovereignty.

Previously, it was reported that a UAV programme was mooted for surveillance over the South China Sea.

He added that Malaysia was lagging far behind other neighbouring countries in acquiring a UAV squadron.

However, the time frame would depend on the RFIs they received and also on the government budget, he said, adding that it would be more feasible for it to be funded during the five-year plan next year.

Affendi said another RMAF priority would be to develop technical and air warfare know-how for the pilots, so that they were on par with other countries.

Readiness to transfer MiG-35 technology to India


Readiness to transfer MiG-35 technology to India ”Military Review

Translated by google

In the Indian edition of Financial Express, there is an article by the author Huma Siddikvi, where the information on the proposal from Russia on the acquisition of MiG-35 fighters is specified. The article presents an interview with the general director of the RSK MiG corporation Ilya Tarasenko.

It is noted that the Russian company is participating in a tender for the supply of aircraft for the needs of the Indian Air Force through Rosoboronexport. It is especially emphasized that MiG guarantees New Delhi the full compliance of a possible contract to the “Make in India” program, which is being promoted by the Indian government. 

From the interview :

The Russian aviation complex, which is the MiG-35, allows the use of the entire spectrum of aviation weapons , both existing and future, of Russian or foreign origin, including those intended for heavy fighters.

Tarasenko notes that the MiG has been on the Indian arms market for about half a century. 

At the moment, with the Indian side, possible options for cooperation under the “Make in India” program regarding the MiG-35 are being discussed.

If the contract is ready for signing, of course, with the consent of our Indian partners, we will be able to disclose additional information about the parameters of our offer.

Huma Siddiqui asks Ilya Tarasenko about the company's readiness to transfer India's key technologies for creating light MiG-35 fighters. 

Answer Tarasenko:

Of course, we are ready for this. We fully understand the desire of India to become one of the first importers of defense products, abandoning an order to purchase not only standard systems that are already in mass production, but also modern systems designed in accordance with the individual requirements of India.

The Director General of RSK MiG adds:

Our first production under license was established here in India, back in the 1960s, when production of the MiG-21 fighter began in India. Since then, India has created many lines of defense products of Soviet and Russian design. In fact, Russia proposed an option for the Make in India program almost half a century ago, long before it became a well-established trend.

Tarasenko noted that the company he heads is ready to transfer technology and relevant documentation to partner enterprises.

Battle for Asian skies: Could Russia's MiG-35 win a tender for the Indian Air Force? — RT Op-ed

Malaysia wants to barter palm oil for European-made jet fighters

Malaysia wants to barter palm oil for European-made jet fighters

fighter jets, as part of a move to reinstate an exchange practice that the Southeast Asian country used in the 1990s.

Along with a number of emerging economies, Malaysia’s national currency, the Ringgit, is in freefall which has forced the government to abandon its major infrastructure projects. While bartering palm oil with military equipment was a practice that allowed Kuala Lumpur to procure Soviet-made military surplus from Russia and Ukraine in the 1990s, there is no precedent of carrying out similar transactions with the European defence sector.

Malaysia currently depends on a fleet of obsolete Russian-made MiG-29s and Sukhoi fighter jets that are for the most part grounded. The Malaysian government, however, is negotiating a new fleet with MRCA, Dassault Aviation, the Saab Group, and Italy’s Leonardo. Chinese JF-17s and J-10s could also be an option, as they are low-cost, but China is seen as a major security concern by Malaysia.

European companies prefer leasing plans and export-credit deals to barter deals. particularly in this case as the EU is planning to phase out palm oil from transport fuel whose production is linked to deforestation.

Saab ready to offer Canadian-built Gripen fighters to Ottawa

Saab ready to offer Canadian-built Gripen fighters to Ottawa

Saab is ready to sell the Canadian government 88 Canada-built Gripen fighters should Ottawa require home-built aircraft.

The Swedish combat aircraft manufacturer cautions nothing is finalised and its offer will ultimately reflect Canada’s formal request for proposal (RFP). The company expects the final RFP to be issued around midyear by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).

“As we have demonstrated in Brazil, and depending on the requirements of a customer, we can build fighter jets in countries other than Sweden,” says the company. “Gripen is the world’s most-modern multi-role aircraft and a perfect match to Canada’s operational requirements for NORAD defense and expeditionary missions. It is proven to operate in any climate, from arctic to desert.”

Canadian news outlet National Post first reported Saab’s openness to building the Gripen in Canada.

For the Brazilian air force Saab agreed to build 15 of 36 Gripens in Brazil as part of a technology transfer scheme. The company opened an aerostructure plant near Sao Paulo, which is to begin production in 2020 of large structural segments for the Gripen, such as tail cones, aerodynamic brakes, wing boxes and front and rear fuselages. Those pieces will be assembled at Embraer’s plant in Gavião Peixoto.

The company has also pitched New Delhi on manufacturing the Gripen in India. And, in cooperation with Boeing, the firm is building parts of the US Air Force’s T-X trainer jet in West Lafayette, Indiana.

The RCAF issued a draft request for proposal in October 2018 to an exclusive set of five potential suppliers to replace its Boeing CF-18A/B Hornet fleet.

The suppliers included Dassault Aviation, maker of Rafales; Saab, maker of JAS 39 Gripens; Airbus Defense, a major partner in the Eurofighter joint venture, which makes Typhoons; Lockheed Martin, maker of F-16s and F-35s; and Boeing, maker of F/A-18 Super Hornets and F-15E Strike Eagles.

The RCAF has said it plans to receive initial proposals from bidders between summer and winter 2019. A contract is anticipated to be awarded during the winter months of 2021-2022. Canada wants initial aircraft to be delivered in 2025, with initial operational capability achieved by 2026. The government wants all aircraft delivered by 2031 or 2032, at which time the CF-18 fleet will be retired.

After U.S. complaint, Canada to soften rules for jet competition to allow Lockheed Martin bid: source
Canada’s auditor general takes aim at Liberals’ fighter-jet plan with new probe
Canada May Make It Much Harder For U.S. To Win Its Hornet Replacement Fighter Contract
F-35 and Super Hornet Back on the Table for Canada
Boeing is reportedly still planning to Compete In Canada's Fighter Contest
Canada to keep flying its F/A-18A Hornet fighters into the early 2030s
Boeing skips information session on Canada’s fighter-jet purchase
Boeing cancels fighter jet announcement amid spat with Ottawa over Bombardier
Canada Starts Fighter Competition Process, Aims for 2025 Delivery
Boeing ready to throw in towel on Canadian interim fighter purchase
Canada scraps plan to buy Boeing fighters amid trade dispute: sources
It's Official, Canada Pens Formal Letter Of Interest For Surplus Aussie F/A-18 Hornets
Canada takes first official step to buying used fighter jets from Australia
US approves Super Hornet sale ahead of Canadian decision
Canada quietly paid another $30 million toward development of the F-35

Saab Gripen E: Details

Thursday, 30 May 2019

UAC filed a lawsuit against the Ukrainian concern "Antonov"


ОАК подала в суд на украинский концерн «Антонов» | Еженедельник «Военно-промышленный курьер»:

Translated by google

PJSC United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) sued the Ukrainian State Aviation Concern (SAC) Antonov.

According to Interfax-AVN , referring to the materials of the judicial card file, the claim was sent to the Moscow Arbitration Court on May 23. The materials explaining the essence of the claims have not yet been published in the file. The third parties are the Interdistrict Inspectorate of the Federal Tax Service No. 46 in Moscow and OAK-Antonov LLC, a joint venture of UAC and Antonov.

In February, a UAC representative reported that UAC-Antonov would be liquidated, since “representatives of the Ukrainian side do not take part in its activities for a long time,” the joint venture itself “does not negotiate.”

The agreement on the creation of UAC-Antonov was signed in 2010. It was assumed that the company would coordinate the joint programs of the aviation industry (among them, the An-70, An-124, An-140), marketing and after-sales service of the aircraft. In 2011, the company began work, in 2015, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine ordered the release of Antonov from the capital of the joint venture. A year later, the companies that made up the concern went out of its composition and were incorporated into Ukroboronprom, the SJK itself was liquidated.

Antonov An-70: Details
An-124 Ruslan (Condor): Details

Russia to demonstrate Su-57 fifth-generation fighter jet at MAKS air show

Russia to demonstrate Su-57 fifth-generation fighter jet at MAKS air show

Russia will also feature a light Il-112V military transport plane, Su-35 and Su-30SM multirole super-maneuverable fighters and Yak-130 combat training aircraft at the show

MOSCOW, May 29. /TASS/. Russia will demonstrate its most advanced Su-57 fifth-generation fighter jet at the MAKS-2019 aerospace show in the town of Zhukovsky outside Moscow, the state arms seller Rosoboronexport said in a statement on Wednesday.

"The delegations from the Air Force and all the guests of the MAKS international aerospace show in the town of Zhukovsky near Moscow will be able to view the newest Su-57 fifth-generation fighter jets from August 27 to September 1," the statement says.

At the MAKS-2019 aerospace show, Russia will also feature a light Il-112V military transport plane, Su-35 and Su-30SM multirole super-maneuverable fighters and Yak-130 combat training aircraft. The aerospace show’s guests will also be able to view Mi-28NE and Ka-52 combat helicopters, Mi-171Sh and Mi-17V-5 military transport aircraft and other military planes.

In 2017, a pair of PAK FA (Su-57) fighters demonstrated elements of a dogfight at the MAKS aerospace show for the first time. One of the fighters launched an attack while the other dodged it, demonstrating the plane’s super-maneuverability that allows it to evade an enemy blow. The pilots also demonstrated aerobatic maneuvers, including Pugachev’s Cobra, flights at critical angles of attack and movements at a minimum speed.

The Su-57 is a fifth-generation multirole fighter designed to destroy all types of air targets at long and short distances and hit enemy ground and naval targets, overcoming its air defense capabilities.

The Su-57 took to the skies for the first time on January 29, 2010. Compared to its predecessors, the Su-57 combines the functions of an attack plane and a fighter jet while the use of composite materials and innovation technologies and the fighter’s aerodynamic configuration ensure the low level of radar and infrared signature.

The plane’s armament will include, in particular, hypersonic missiles. The fifth-generation fighter jet has been successfully tested in combat conditions in Syria.

Yakovlev Yak-130: Details
Sukhoi Su-57: Details
Su-35S Flanker-E: Details
Su-30SM/Su-30SM1: Details
Il-112V Light Military Transport: Details

USN issues RFI for Growler Block 2 upgrade

by Dan Field

USN issues RFI for Growler Block 2 upgrade | Jane's 360

The US Navy (USN) has formally launched the Block 2 upgrade for the Boeing EA-18G electronic attack (EA) aircraft, with a request for information (RFI) issued in late May.

In a solicitation posted on the Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOpps) website, the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) announced its intention to procure non-recurring engineering in support of EA-18G Growler Block 2, including Electronic Attack Unit (EAU) Surrogate Processor (ESP), AN/ALQ-218(V)4 RF receiver system, and AN/ALQ-227(V)2 communication countermeasures set requirements for the USN.

The anticipated start date for the effort to retrofit all 161 of the USN's Growlers to the Block 2 configuration is 7 June 2020, with the upgrade itself being launched in fiscal year 2022 and aircraft being received from 2025. While not included in this initial solicitation, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) fields 11 Growlers that are also likely to be upgraded (the service received 12 but one was lost to an accident in a ground accident in early 2018 and has yet to be replaced). Further to current customers, Boeing is also offering the aircraft to Finland and Germany.

Previously known as the Advanced Growler, the Growler Block 2 enhancement is based on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Block 3 upgrade that is now in its early stages. Features common to both aircraft comprise 10×19 inch large-area display (LAD) cockpits (front and back) and conformal fuel tanks (CFTs), while the Growler will also receive enhancements to the systems listed in the RFI; the Next-Generation Jammer; EA sensor improvements; as well as networking and crew-interface improvements.

Embraer enters final stretch of KC-390 military certification tests


Embraer enters final stretch of KC-390 military certification tests | Jane's 360

Key Points

  • Embraer is completing its final set of tasks to achieve military certification for its KC-390 aircraft
  • The company hopes the aircraft will enter service with the Brazilian Air Force later this year

Embraer is entering the final stretch of military certification tests for its KC-390 tanker/transport aircraft with the goal of it entering service with the Brazilian Air Force (Força Aérea Brasileira: FAB) by the end of the year.

Walter Pinto, Embraer vice-president of defence and security, told reporters on 28 May that the company will next complete continuous computed drop point (CCDP) certification, combat offload, and aerial refuelling. The KC-390, he said, previously performed dry contact refuelling tests with a Northrop F-5 Tiger II. Fuel transfers will start on the next test.

Other military certification tests to take place next include the KC-390's self-protection system, both the chaff and flare and the direct infrared countermeasure (DIRCM) capability. Pinto said the plan is to show compliance with major FAB requirements by the end of 2019.

Pinto added that some tests may be pushed to 2020 depending on aircraft availability and the FAB supporting tests with equipment and crew. The flight test campaign, he said, has flown 2,200 flight hours.

Embraer's most recent test was extraction air drops, performed this month. Aircraft FAB 1, the first KC-390 that will be delivered to the FAB, performed its first production flight test the weekend of 25 May, a key milestone on the path to initiating delivery with the FAB.

There are seven KC-390s in various states of assembly on the production line. FAB 1 is completely assembled, according to photos shown to reporters. FAB 2 is in final assembly with wings assembled, but no engines.

Flight Test Campaign Status - 2018
Published on Jan 23, 2019

Germany to take up European next-gen fighter funding next week

Concept - by RodrigoAvella

Germany to take up European next-gen fighter funding next week: Defense officials hope to have approval in time for the Paris Air Show in mid-June.

MADRID – With Spain on track to join a German-French quest for a new European combat aircraft, lawmakers in Germany next week are expected to decide on Berlin’s initial funding contribution.

June 5 will be the last penultimate session of the Bundestag’s defense and budget committees before the parliamentary summer break begins in late June. It is also the last opportunity to secure approval for a €65 million study contract for the Future Combat Air System before the June 16-23 Paris Air Show. German and French officials envision some level of pomp and circumstance at the event to cement their ambitious sixth-generation fighter plans.

For now, the idea is to have a framework agreement signed by the two defense ministers, Florence Parly and Ursula von der Leyen, even if a final okay by German lawmakers was still outstanding. In that case, a contingency clause would be added to the text to reflect that the pact is preliminary until Germany’s legislature approves it.

Defense officials in Berlin said they expect parliamentary approval eventually, but acknowledged that the timing is tight.

Meanwhile, staffs are working behind the scenes to modify the slate of program governance documents to reflect Spain’s participation. It remains to be seen whether those tweaks, which include questions of intellectual property ownership, can be sorted out in time to warrant a senior-level Spanish government representative joining the festivities at Paris.

A German defense spokesman stressed that Spain's participation in FCAS program was assured, and that only legal matters had yet to the sorted out.

In that spirit, Germany's choice to lead a delegation to the inaugural FEINDEF defense expo here appears apt: Luftwaffe Brig. Gen. Gerald Funke, who also oversees FCAS planning for Germany, could be spotted at the opening event.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

​KAI lands contract for Thai T-50TH work


KAI lands contract for Thai T-50TH work

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has entered a $52 million contract related to Bangkok’s purchase of T-50TH advanced jet trainers.

“The deal is an Upgrade & Modification program which aims to equip the T-50TH Jet trainers which RTAF operates with radars and the [radar warning receiver], and [counter measures dispenser system],” says KAI.

“The contract includes such follow-up and support as training, repairing parts and support equipment. The final delivery is slated for October 2021.”

The Royal Thai Air Force operates four T-50THs and has an additional eight examples on order. When queried, KAI declined to state whether the $52 million contract relates only to the eight new fighters, or the entire fleet of 12.

The T-50 family is equipped with the Elta EL/M-2032 pulse Doppler radar.

Thailand commissions first four T-50TH supersonic trainer jets

KAI T-50 and FA-50: Details

U.S. may suspend training of Turkish pilots for F-35 jets over Russia missile deal


U.S. may suspend training of Turkish pilots for F-35 jets over Russia missile deal - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is seriously considering suspending training for Turkish pilots on advanced F-35 fighter jets as Ankara moves ahead with plans to purchase a Russian missile defence system despite objections from Washington, sources told Reuters on Tuesday.

The two NATO allies have argued for months over Turkey’s order for the Russian S-400 defences, which Washington says are incompatible with the Western alliance’s defence network and would pose a threat to American F-35 stealth fighters which Turkey also plans to buy.

The two sources, who are familiar with Turkey’s role in the F-35 programme and who spoke on condition of anonymity, said a final decision had not yet been made.

The deliberation follows signs that Turkey is moving ahead with the S-400 purchase. Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said on May 22 that Turkish military personnel were receiving training in Russia to use the S-400, and said Russian personnel may come to Turkey.

Turkish pilots have also been training at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona. It was unclear whether a decision to suspend their training would mean they would have to leave the country, or would be allowed to remain at the base until a final decision is made about Turkey’s future in the F-35 programme.

The United States has said plainly that Turkey cannot have the S-400 and be part of the F-35 programme. The F-35 is made by Lockheed Martin Corp.

If Turkey was removed from the programme, it would be one of the most significant ruptures in recent history in the relationship between the two allies, experts say.

“Washington is signalling that while it would rather not break military ties with Turkey, it is ready to do so if Ankara does not change its mind regarding the S-400 purchase,” said Soner Cagaptay, director of the Turkish programme at the Washington Institute.

Strains in ties between Washington and Ankara already extend beyond the F-35 to include conflicting strategy in Syria, Iran sanctions and the detention of U.S. consular staff in Turkey.

The Pentagon and State Department declined to comment on any deliberations about the pilots. But Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Mike Andrews noted discussions are taking place with Ankara on potentially buying the Patriot missile defence system.

Andrews said the Patriot system, made by Raytheon Co., “remains a robust, NATO-interoperable alternative to the S-400 for (Turkey’s) national defence requirements.”

On Monday, Turkish broadcaster Haberturk quoted Akar as saying in an interview that the delivery of the S-400 may not happen in June, when Turkey previously said the missiles were due to arrive. He added the agreement was a done deal, however.

“They may not make it by June but they will come in the months ahead. The process has begun,” he was quoted as saying.

Objecting to Ankara’s planned Russian defence purchase, the United States in late March halted delivery of equipment related to the F-35 to Turkey, which is both a buyer and a production partner in the programme. The move was the first concrete step of what could eventually be the full removal of Turkey from the F-35 programme.

The United States has warned that if Turkey takes delivery of the Russian system, it will also trigger U.S. sanctions under CATSAA, a law calling for sanctions against countries procuring military equipment from Russia.

Turkey has said that as a NATO member it poses no threat to the United States and the sanctions should not apply. Ankara has also increasingly pinned its hopes on President Donald Trump to protect it from such penalties.

U.S. officials have called Turkey’s planned purchase of the S-400 system “deeply problematic.” Washington and other NATO allies that own F-35s fear the system’s radar will learn how to spot and track the jet, making it less able to evade Russian weapons.

Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and Phil Stewart; editing by Tom Brown, Jonathan Oatis and Sonya Hepinstall

F-35 Production Hurt If Turkey Kicked Out Of Program: Vice Adm. Winter « Breaking Defense - Defense industry news, analysis and commentaryPompeo: With S-400, Turkey won’t get F-35, may get sanctions
'Rising Power' Turkey Bought S-400s to Increase Autonomy on World Stage - Prof
Trump agrees with Turkey's S-400 purchase, says Erdoğan
Turkey may never get its U.S.-made F-35s - analyst | Ahval
No Patriots, no F-35s: Pentagon to empty Turkish army’s shopping cart if it goes on with S-400 deal — RT World News
Turkey’s Erdoğan considers buying Russia’s S-500 air defense systems possible

The Royal Navy's stealth sub can stay submerged for 25 years

Rex Features

The Royal Navy's stealth sub can stay submerged for 25 years - We Are The Mighty: Submarine technology has come a long way since the early days of the diesel-powered silent killers. Now these billion-dollar ships are engineering marvels.

The UK's submarine fleet conducts some of the most secret missions in the Royal Navy. For that, it requires the quietest ships ever built – the Astute-class submarine. Capable of tracking enemy ships, listening in on foreign communications, tracking vessels and aircraft, delivering special operators, and more. It can even launch a volley of Tomahawk missiles while submerged.

And no one would ever see it coming.

The seven Astute-class subs will soon be the only attack subs in the Queen's fleet. The only other submersible ships will be tasked with carrying the UK's sea-based nuclear arsenal. The rest of the Royal Navy's subs will be decommissioned by the time the Astute and her sister ships are all in the water.

Engineers at BAE were tasked with something nearly impossible: silencing a 7,400-ton nuclear-powered warship with 100 British sailors on board. They had to reverse engineer how noise would be emitted from the ship, trace them to the source, and dampen it. And since the submarine would be completely vulnerable while completing its mission, the engineers also had to protect the ship from a torpedo impact, one that would be designed to break the ship's back.

And yes, the Astute can take a direct hit from a modern torpedo.

But the Astute and its class are still under construction. There have been a few mishaps, only a couple of those are due to engineering. An accident ran the ship aground a couple of years ago, causing minor damage. Since then, leaks and corrosion have been reported. Engineers working on the ship say since each ship costs $1 billion, they can't make a viable prototype – it's too expensive. But the lessons learned in the trials are being incorporated into the construction of the other ships.

Other factors that keep the ships quiet are the acoustic tiles that cover the ship's exterior, the ultra-quiet rafts holding the pumps for the seawater that cools the ship's reactor, and a diffuser that keeps the ship's extra carbon dioxide from bubbling to the surface. The ship also has its magnetic signature reduced, and its wake is designed to be minimal.

Astute Class SSN: Details